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Graduate Student Profile
Catalina Bravo

Catalina Bravo

Hometown: Berthoud, CO
Home Country: Ecuador, South America
Degree Sought: Ph.D.
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Deepak Vashishth
Expected year of graduation: 2015

Background and Accomplishments:

  • Business Skills: Project Management, Product Development for leading edge technologies, Product Life cycle Competitive Analysis / Needs requirements, Intellectual Property Management, Supply Chain Management, Structural / Strategic Change Management, Business Management, Financial budgeting, Strong presentation/communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Research Skills: Often asked to discover latest research in technology in specific areas. Conducted investigations of material advances or alternatives for specific products in development or test. Determined creative solutions to business problems after conducting research.
  • Technical Skills: Technology commercialization from start-up ventures to end-of-life. Product packaging design analysis, Human interface testing and quality analysis of products en-route to commercialization. Materials procurement and materials research for new products involved testing and quantitative analysis.


Selected for two-year NIH award in Biomolecular Science and Engineering

Emory College Scholarship towards B.A. degree

Marcel Moraud Scholarship for International economics studies, Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris, France)
Awarded: Certificat pratique de langue francaise (Paris-France)
Awarded: Certificat pratique de français commercial et économique (Paris-France)

Pennsylvania State Graduate MBA Fellowship

IBM national recognition for supplier diversity efforts in Manufacturing, Distribution and R&D Individual bonus & CEO recognition for IBM Import tax recovery project as key lead. Multiple Key Contributor Awards from Seagate Engineering Design Center (Longmont, CO)

Selected and successfully completed: On site Seagate Technology training: Harvard Business School – Leadership Development for Managers
Selected as one of ten to represent company: Women’s Leadership Vision Conference, Denver, CO

Peer-Reviewed Publications:
Tagg, Randall and Bravo, Catalina (2010) Biodesign: The process of innovating medical technologies Journal of Commercial Biotechnology 16, 362-364 (25 October 2010) doi:10.1057/jcb.2010.22 Book Review

Why did you choose to enroll at Rensselaer?
RPI’s reputation in advanced technologies: I had the advantage of working alongside RPI grads before joining Rensselaer and I knew we were always in good hands when they were on our team.
The state of the art biomedical research facilities. Well established research in musculoskeletal, specifically in bone.

What are some benefits of being part of the Graduate Community at Rensselaer?
We are a cohesive group. Partake in the activities and graduate school events as a way to not only make friends but share and exchange ideas. It is amazing how collaborations can come from going to Graduate Movie night or to the Halloween party!

What would you tell a prospective student about choosing Rensselaer?
RPI clearly teaches you to “do” engineering tasks and to “think” like an engineer. But more importantly, RPI teaches you how to think through and analyze situations that you encounter in life.

Describe your graduate research and its purpose/applications?
My graduate research investigates the role of advanced glycation end products on bone fragility in mice and human vertebra leading to a model to predict fracture risk in osteoporosis.

What are your plans following graduation?
I am considering academia/teaching but also considering a role in R&D for biomedical or biotechnology ventures which combines my global business operations background with scientific research.

Professional affiliations:

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)
National Society of Hispanic MBAs

What are your hobbies/interests/special talents?
I have a variety of interests ranging from photography, cycling, hiking and wine tasting. I enjoy learning new languages and traveling the world. I gained a concern for world health, and the plight of orphans during those travels. I focus on mentoring students and colleagues to achieve their goals. I look for opportunities to interest women into science and engineering roles. I could go for months without seeing a women at a management level meeting when I worked in high tech and I want to change that. Preparation is one necessary key step.

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